*Christina Tourin. 

MOUNTSHANNON will host a harp concert with a difference this Saturday (October 22nd).

Erin Durrett and Christina Tourin will join together to present ‘Songs of Hildegard and the Early Saints’ with Blossom Harps and guests from the United States of America. The event is hosted by Mountshannon Arts at St Caimin’s Church in Mountshannon, commencing at 7:30pm.

Internationally renowned harp educator, Christina Tourin is one of the most accomplished harpists of her generation, delighting audiences with her performances worldwide. Soprano Erin Durrett who loves music of all times, genres, and cultures with a special passion for scared chant is Director of Music Ministries at The Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit on Vashon Island.

Erin Durrett.

Blossom Harps is directed by Lizzie Affolter who initiated the Blossom Harp Festival in Tuamgraney in 2016, which has now become the Tuamgraney Harp Festival.

Hildegard of Bingen was a saint, composer and poet and it’s only recently that her songs, writings and remarkable life and visions have been rediscovered. She was born over 900 years ago and for most of her 80-plus years was shut away in an obscure hilltop monastery in the Rhineland. She left behind a treasure-trove of illuminated manuscripts, scholarly writings and songs written for her nuns to sing at their devotions.

Interest in Hildegard started to grow around the 800th anniversary of her death in 1979, when Philip Pickett and his New London Consort gave possibly the first performances of four of Hildegard’s songs. And, in 1983, the success of A Feather On The Breath Of God, an album of her music, piqued people’s curiosity about the author of these sensual, vivid, lyrical songs.

Accounts written in Hildegard’s lifetime and just after describe an extraordinarily accomplished woman: a visionary, a prophet (she was known as “The Sibyl Of The Rhine”), a pioneer who wrote practical books on biology, botany, medicine, theology and the arts. She was a prolific letter-writer to everyone from humble penitents looking for a cure for infertility to popes, emperors and kings seeking spiritual or political advice.

Tickets costing €10 are available on www.mountshannonarts.ie.

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